Everett Dobson is increasing his involvement in the Thoroughbred business at a time when many people are pulling back. His investment in Three Chimneys Stallions as a minority partner was announced Aug. 1. He also recently purchased Elkhorn Creek Farm in Central Kentucky.
“I think there are a lot of signs that we can point to that suggest the Thoroughbred business is on the uptick,” said Dobson Aug. 6 while looking at young horses consigned to the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling sale in upstate New York. “We’ve got a new purse structure on the horizon in New York that is incredibly positive and there are a lot of regional tracks that are doing exceptionally well. I wish the state of Kentucky had a better model right now; hopefully, in the future it will have.”
According to a press release issued by Robert and Blythe Clay’s Three Chimneys Farm, Dobson will become a member of the Three Chimneys Stallions board of directors. His investment doesn’t include any ownership interest in the Kentucky nursery or the farm’s other lines of business such as sales consignment services, boarding, and bloodstock management.
“I’ve known the Clays and have been a client of Three Chimneys Farm for many years,” Dobson said. “I have just the highest respect for how they do business, so it was a good chance for me to expand into the stallion world. The stallion part of the Thoroughbred business is certainly an intriguing part of the business. But I also think it’s a good time to be buying into the stallion business right now. It’s a good opportunity based on where the Thoroughbred industry and the world itself have settled.”
Dobson founded and headed Dobson Communications Corp., which AT&T acquired in 2007 in a deal that was worth billions of dollars. He is an owner of the Oklahoma City Thunder, a National Basketball Association Team.
Dobson’s purchase of Elkhorn Creek increased the number of farms he owns in Kentucky to two. Elkhorn Creek is “a little over 200 acres” in size, according to the enthusiastic horseman.
“I have a smaller farm that is right around the corner that we operate under (the name) Candy Meadows,” he said. “We’re going to operate Elkhorn Creek primarily as a broodmare operation and as a place for ‘layups’ and to keep the horses we buy as yearlings until they are ready to run. We’ve been buying yearlings for the last three or four years with the idea in mind to develop a broodmare band through the fillies we retire (from racing). We don’t have a lot of mares now; we have only eight or nine broodmares alone or in partnership. Most of them are owned in partnership with Jim Wells.”
Dobson’s outlook for the Saratoga sale was optimistic in spite of stock market’s recent huge plunge and other bad financial news.
“I think going into sales you always like to have stability in the financial markets,” he said. “But this sale, in particular, is such a select sale that the quality horses are still going sell very well, I would expect. I would think it (the stock market setback) would have a minimal effect. We’ll see what happens in September (during the Keeneland yearling sale) when there are thousands of horses sold. But the stock market could rebound between now and then. The nature of the financial markets is that there is going to be a lot of volatility in the foreseeable future. That is the nature of the world we are living in right now.”